Heathrow Airport is one of the United Kingdom’s busiest airports. Each year it welcomes millions of travelers through its doors on their way to visit family, seek the sun, or travel the world on a budget.
Heathrow Airport has evolved and changed throughout the years but the question is, who owns it?
Heathrow Airport is the property of Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (formerly BAA).
Heathrow Airport Holdings is owned by FGP Topco Limited, which is a consortium led by infrastructure specialist Ferrovial S.A., Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Qatar Investment Authority, GIC, China Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners of the United States, and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
How Old Is Heathrow Airport?
Heathrow Airport opened its doors to the public on March 25, 1946. Since then, it has had a long and colorful history.
It is the largest airport in the UK and has grown to be a behemoth with four different passenger terminals, handling 80.1 million passengers in 2018.
However, its beginnings were modest, dating back to 1929, when Fairley Aviation began purchasing 148 acres of land southeast of the hamlet of Heathrow for an airfield.
The airfield was utilized for testing and aircraft assembly when it was given operational status in June 1930.
The Great West Aerodrome, Heathrow Aerodrome, and Harmondsworth Aerodrome were some of the names it went by throughout the 1930s.
The start of World War II significantly altered its use, initially serving as RAF diversionary tactics before being utilized more formally starting in 1944.
The airport’s first terminal consisted of simple former military marquees, but demand for its services quickly increased, and by the end of its first year of operation, 63,000 people had passed through it.
Frederick Gibberd, an architect, created permanent structures and an airport control tower, raising the population to 796,000 by 1951.
What Was Heathrow Airport Originally Called?
It was originally opened as “London Airport” in 1946 and renamed “Heathrow” in 1966.
It was renamed Heathrow Airport because when it was founded in 1929, it was a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) southeast of the village of Heathrow.
How Big Is Heathrow Airport?
Greater London is served by six international airports and among them, Heathrow airport is the largest (the others being Gatwick, Luton, City, Stansted, and Southend).
Heathrow Airport Holdings is the owner and operator of the airport facility. It was the eighth-busiest airport in Europe by total passenger traffic and the seventh-busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic in 2021.
In 1929, Heathrow was established as a tiny airfield, but following World War II, it expanded significantly.
On a 12.27 square kilometer plot, the airport is located 23 kilometers (14 miles) west of Central London (4.74 square miles).
Over the course of 75 years, it was gradually developed to include two parallel east-west runways, four functioning passenger terminals, and one operational cargo terminal.
More than 80 airlines use Heathrow Airport to connect to 185 destinations across 84 countries. The airport serves as both a base for Virgin Atlantic and British Airways’ main hub.
94% of Heathrow’s 78 million passengers in 2017 were from other countries; the remaining 6% were going to or coming from locations within the UK.
In terms of passenger volume, New York ranked first, with over 3 million travelers traveling between Heathrow and JFK Airport in 2013.